If you own and drive a van, the type of van insurance you’ll need will depend on how you plan to use the vehicle.
Most typically, vans are used as part of a business – for example to transport and deliver goods, or for tradesman to carry around tools and other equipment.
What is private van insurance?
What if you don’t use your van as part of a business, or for any commercial purpose at all?
Perhaps you’ve got a large family and use your van mainly to transport your kids to sport and social activities.
Or maybe you’re a keen surfer or biker and you need a larger-than-average vehicle to transport all your kit to the beach or the racetrack.
This is when you might consider private van insurance – a type of policy also known as personal van insurance.
This kind of cover is suitable for vans and other light goods vehicles (LGVs) like pick-up trucks provided they are used solely for personal reasons.
Below we describe how this insurance works, who it’s suitable for and how to get cheap private van insurance.
What does private van insurance cover?
Private or personal van policies are purely for people who use their vans for ‘social, domestic or personal’ reasons.
This is also a category when you’re shopping around for car insurance.
Another similarity with car insurance is that there are three main options for private van insurance depending on the level of cover you want:
Third-party van insurance
This is the minimum legal requirement, and it means you’re covered for any damage or injury you cause to any other road users.
With a third-party policy, you won’t be able to claim for damage to your own van in the event of an accident where you were at fault.
Third-party, fire and theft van insurance
As well as the protection offered by third-party cover, this also allows you to claim if your van is damaged by fire. You should also be covered if the van is stolen – or damaged while being stolen.
Comprehensive van insurance
As the name suggests, this type of personal van policy offers all the cover that third-party, fire and theft does.
But it also allows you to claim for damage to your own vehicle – or yourself – in an accident where you were at fault.
For understandable reasons, comprehensive policies are often considered to be the most expensive option. But they offer much more cover and therefore far greater peace of mind.
Optional extras with private van insurance
There are also a number of optional extras that you can choose to add to your private van policy. These could provide additional protection but usually increase the size of your premiums.
These add-ons include:
This means that in the event of a mechanical problem, you could have an engineer turn up and fix your van.
Or, if that’s not possible, tow it to your home or your destination.
You can sometimes bundle breakdown cover with your insurance, but it's always best to shop around first.
Legal protection cover
This could help cover the cost of any legal action you need to take, for example against other motorists who’ve caused you or your family personal injury.
It could also underwrite the cost of defending a claim against a motoring offence.
The option to have a courtesy car or replacement van if your own vehicle is being repaired.
When you’re making a private van insurance comparison, select all the extras you really need. This helps you see the true potential cost of each van insurance quote.
People often want to know how cheap van insurance for private use is likely to be.
The good news is that it could often be around the same price as a standard car insurance policy.
Commercial van policies, on the other hand, are typically more expensive.
This is partly because vans used for business are more likely to be on the road more frequently and at busier times.
Also, because they tend to have more expensive equipment stored in them they’re therefore more of a target for thieves.
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